mad at my phone.
thatís not completely true. The phone is fine. I actually like
it, and Iím enjoying the first new phone in about four years.
Iím not exactly the guy running out immediately for latest and
greatest. I tend to be more functional in that regard when it
comes to my approach to purchases.
Iím mad at is the options involved, and honestly, even that isnít
really the phone. Itís more the way the default settings are,
for lack of a better description, prioritized and thought out.
other morning, I woke up first. With a few things going on, ranging
from errands to falling snow to texts arriving while I slept,
I picked my phone up from the nightstand and went to check a couple
of things. AndÖ because, of courseÖ at some point as I moved along
through different apps, a video began playing, and the rest of
the details arenít important because the sound woke up Terry.
yes, I had the sound off.
had silenced the phone and shut down most of the things involved.
For whatever reason, I seem to have missed one volume setting.
When a video auto-triggered in some fashion it seems to have been
attached to that particular volume setting for sound, which overrode
my silencing of the phone, andÖ you know the rest, Tigg woke up.
put in her request that the phone be removed from nightstand.
And in some ways, thatís fair enough. (The funnier part is that
she didnít request it be removed. She actually flat out threatened
the phone, explaining that if it ever went off again in the morning
while she was sleeping that it would be the last known thing the
phone did before disappearing forever.)
have come to accept, begrudgingly, that technology and our advancements
into the future are nothing more than a radar detector story.
And thatís pretty annoying for those of us not in the conference
room debating those default settings.
few decades ago, radar detectors were the fancy must have item
for a car. It was, arguably, a statement piece as much as a useful
tool. The concept of status earned by owning one isnít required
for my story, so just enjoy the nostalgia on your own.
popularity of the units triggered this funny (and understandable)
game of one-upmanship between police departments and motorists.
Or, more specifically, between the groups trying to sell radar
guns to police departments and radar detectors to motorists. (And
yes, I do appreciate the potential humor in having a single parent
company owning groups that are making both radar guns and radar
detectors.) Basically, the action played out like thisÖ
Police begin using radars to track speeding.
Drivers begin purchasing radar detectors that picked up signals
from radar guns and, hopefully, gave them enough time to slow
down before their car was tracked.
Police upgraded to new radar guns that operated in a slightly
different way than the previous radar guns so the old radar
detectors didnít work.
Drivers upgraded to new radar detectors that had additional
design features which assisted with the new radar guns.
Return to step 3, and begin ongoing repeating of steps 3 to
sure, my breakdown is fairly basic. But, as I mentioned, we donít
need the complex details. Itís simply an ongoing, repetitive one-upmanship.
Police track speeders, speeders try determine when they are being
tracked, police adjust the way they track speeders, speeders adjust
their detection methods, lather, rinse, repeat.
have moved on. At least I think we have. Itís that status statement
thing. Weíre someplace between two and fifty generations past
a dash-mounted radar detector as a neat accessory in the car.
Weíre passing voice recognition artificial intelligence navigational
playlists as must haves for the in crowd.
so, radar detectorsÖ you donít see them in everyoneís car these
days. But they still exist. Some states have laws either limiting
or banning their use. Some companies have adapted their models
for use with lasers, stop light cameras, and more. And, of course,
between the internet and tablets and smartphones, Iím sure thereís
an app or fifty million for police avoidance driving assistance
to be provided by a voice recognition bluetooth GPS or whatever.
it comes to technology though, even when the playing field is
different that game of outdoing advancements continues with the
same pattern. LatherÖ rinseÖ repeatÖ
years ago, popup ads were all the rage. (In several definitions
of the word rage.) Everyone rejoiced when they were able to add
popup blockers. Heading back to repeat steps 3 through 5, we eventually
meandered our experiences through pages coming up with inserted
areas that triggered activity based on you unwittingly moving
your cursor. These days, videos are set off and run whether you
want them to or not. Heck, many reputable sites now even have
advertising and content displays that set up on the margin and
scroll down along with you. Thatís exciting. (So exciting I often
just turn my speakers off and leave them off. And that also brings
us back to my phone.)
get it. I know that by turning down basically every volume option
on my phone, and maybe even diving deeply into the settings to
adjust a bit here and there and for this and for that, eventually
I would likely kill all of the sounds options. (And perhaps even
turn off the automatically there to annoy me because I have no
interest in watching them videos.)
point is, I donít see why there needs to be that much effort.
I flipped the little switch that silences the phone. Silences
the phoneÖ silences the phoneÖ SILENCES the
phone. shouldnít that, you know, silence the phone?
one of the cars purchased by a member of my family over the past
twenty years has been designed differently for the operation of
its door locks. That even includes some purchases where makes
and models were revisited.
doors relock if you unlock them with a remote and then donít physically
open them within a certain amount of timeÖ others automatically
lock as soon as the car is shifted out of parkÖ others, for reasons
I still have never understood, actually wonít lock when the car
is started and in park. WhichÖ
that not locking idea, eventually Iíve come to the assumption
that it has something to do with not locking yourself out of your
car if you are warming it up. You get itÖ the key is in the ignition,
which means it is unavailable to unlock the door, therefore the
operator will love a feature designed so they canít lock themselves
out of a running vehicle. Trouble is, each time I noticed it,
I was sitting in the car and had some weird sensation of wanting
to improve my personal safety. Parking lotÖ late at night and
darkÖ picking someone up and waiting for them to come out of the
building. Flip the switch to lock the doors and **bam**
locks slammed into place and the immediately slammed back to unlocked.
Perfect. Just perfect.
most cases, there is some way of adjusting the settings. Make
the car honk when it is being locked. Stop it from honking when
being locked. Make it honk twice while doing thisÖ ring bells
when doing thatÖ flash the high-beams twice and text my phone
when my table is ready inside the restaurant.
is no end.
I bought my first car, there were two concerns. Only two. Making
sure your car had air conditioning and rear window defrost. Cruise
control was an unbelievable bonus. And if you think thatís funny,
and want to call me old, then chances are good you donít recall
when most cars came with two different keys.
course, thereís a good chance you may be laughing because you
donít even know what a key is, never mind a day when doors and
ignitions used different keys. Keys and pay phones? What are those.
FineÖ laugh and call me old and say I need to enter the modern
day, I simply do not see me ever adjusting happily to a car security
system that can be thwarted by waving my foot under the bumper
or after I lock the car by my walking too closely to it with the
keys in my pocket.)
I use that fancy switch on the side to turn the sounds off on
my phone, then I think itís fair to say that I would like the
sounds off. That does not mean all sounds, all the time, except
when my finger brushes the screen while an option to play a video
is displayed. I want all sounds silenced. All the time. Unless
I specifically say otherwise.
donít want to pretend that Iím throwing my hands up trying to
get the flow of technology to stop. Iím not against advancing
anything. I know why my car no longer has a cassette player as
a standard option. I know there are things I should learn, there
are things I will need to learn, and there are amazing things
Iím missing out on by not learning.
I just think itís fair to begin with all options and defaults
founded under a simple notion: if I indicated I want something
to happen, and I adjust to work that way, then I should be the
one to explain the exceptions to that request.
are reasons some of us warm up our cars. Ice on the windshield.
Not wanting to freeze after leaving a warm house. Reasons beyond
simply lack of awareness about the operating specifications for
the newest cars and whether or not they even need to be warmed
up to operate properly. Someone in ArizonaÖ southern CaliforniaÖ
year-round-never-below-50-degree locationsÖ might just have different
experiences and motivations than those in Alaska, Minnesota and
people making these decisions without knowing my needs are why
my phone may soon disappear under far from mysterious circumstances.